I was recently introduced to Mike Belsito by former Breaking Biz guest Eliot Peper. Mike has written a book about his experiences raising investment, and explains to all of us how your location is not the be all and end all when it comes to raising money for a tech startup.
“I sometimes have to hide the fact that I went to business school”
Here are some of Mike’s tips to Startup founders looking to raise investment:
Don’t confine yourself to your own town or city
If you’ve talked to all the investors in your area without success, it can be easy to think it’s game over but your home town investors are not always the right investors. It’s a small world, but also..a big world so consider who your ideal investors are and reach out to them (see the next tip).
Use the tools at your disposal
Twitter, Linkedin, Seedrs… there are now so many ways to reach out and connect with the right people. Mike himself raised close to 1 million dollars with some of the investors being those he initially met via Twitter.
People don’t usually invest in ideas, they invest in something tangible, especially when it comes to a tech startup. Have something ready to play with, anything that demonstrates you’re on track to delivering some real value.
Assemble the right team
What is the ideal team? Mike refers to a special trinity he learned from a startup investor, ‘The Hipster, The Hacker and The Suit’ – yes, you guessed it, the suit is somebody that can think about the startup as an actual business. The person who can answer questions investors will ask., i.e. the cost of aquiring a customer, lifetime value of acquiring a customer etc
Commit to the process
Raising money can take several months or up to a year. People need to realise that it’s not going to be this one week thing, and it’s important to dedicate enough time to that process. Reach out to other entrepreneurs that have connections, scheduling meetings and get the connections you need.
You can check out Mike’s new book right here: